Kobo Aura One as a PDF eReader: No, Just No (video)
And so I made my own.
I tested my Aura One loaner with a 58MB Doctor Who comic. It’s not a large file, no, but I found that the Aura One handled a 6MB PDF and a 600MB PDF just as poorly.
The tl;dr version is that the storage limitations (8GB internal, and no card slot) won’t bother anyone because the Aura One is simply unusable for PDFs.
- When you watch the video, count the seconds it takes to open a PDF (8 seconds).
- Then count the seconds required to turn the page (4+ seconds).
- Also, late in the video note how it only partially loads a page (the footer is shown, but not the page image).
What’s not shown in the video (I couldn’t duplicate what I saw in an early test) is that the Aura One is even slower at redrawing a zoomed in page than it is at turning the page. If you picture the screen divided into a grid 12 panels, the Aura One was refreshing the page one panel at a time.
Do you want to know where Kobo screwed up?
It would be easy to blame the CPU, and RAM, but the real problem is the software.
Kobo choose a screen no other device maker could match, then gave the Aura One a one of a kind frontlight – and then crippled the ereader with the same awful software running on previous models.
As much as I love reading ebooks on Kobo hardware (the formatting options are to die for) I don’t use them for PDFs, and never have. The software is simply terrible, and that is true across the board.
Before publishing this post I confirmed that my Aura HD has similar poor performance in the PDF dept, thus depriving us of even the hope that the first official firmware for the Aura One could improve the situation.
And that is unfortunate for Aura One owners, because PDFs are one of the main use cases to justify the Aura One’s 300 PPI 7.8″ screen.